Teamtalk have posted an 'exclusive' article this evening to suggest that Derby County are hopeful of snatching teenage sensation Joel Asoro from Sunderland. The side now managed by Frank Lampard are reportedly offering around £5m to secure the services of the Swedish U21 international.
And quite frankly, that would be an unmitigated disaster for Sunderland. And there's little doubt that one man can largely be held responsible for the unfolding balls-up.
It was on former chief executive Martin Bain's watch that Asoro should have long ago been tied down on a new deal. Sadly, the now departed executive somehow missed the giant memo in his in-tray marked with "Sort Out Joel's New Contract". Asoro's present deal expires next summer with less than a year left on it now.
It took Sunderland AFC until March of this year to finally get round to offering Asoro a new contract - well over 12 months later than talks should have started. By March, the 19-year-old had firmly established himself in the Black Cats first team and was already showing exactly why he has been so highly-rated as a youngster.
Considering the cost of securing the long-term services of the attacking player would have been a fairly standard academy graduate rate of £5,000-per-week with a few appearance fees added-on, ensuring Asoro's future transfer value would be maximised was a no-brainer from both an economical and footballing perspective.
Quite why that never happened, we'll probably never know. Martin Bain is now little more than a bad memory from his period haunting the Stadium of Light, but it's the club's new owners who stand to lose out considerably should Asoro end up at Derby County of all clubs.
No disrespect to the Rams of course, but for one of the top young talents outside the Premier League to be being courted by Championship also-rans like Derby County is a disaster. Especially considering Asoro has supposedly been on the radar of the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal this summer.
Asoro enjoyed a true breakthrough season at the Stadium of Light last season. Making 26 appearances in the Championship, the youngster who joined the Sunderland academy in 2015 weighed in with three goals and a handful of assists as he proved to be one of the few bright spots in the Black Cats relegation campaign.